When I saw Merchant Gourmet were holding a recipe competition for their whole chestnuts, I got a little bit excited!! As a vegetarian, I'm always on the lookout for interesting ingredients to experiment with. I discovered Merchant Gourmet Chestnuts a few years ago and they are now one of my favourite ingredients for use all year round. They are versatile, at home in sweet and savoury dishes, nutritious and low in fat. They have a unique "meaty" flavour and texture which adds a novel twist to veggie dishes.
More often that not, chestnuts are used as accompaniments, in stuffings or with Brussel Sprouts at Christmas. But my recipe uses the chestnuts in a main course, served in a rich casserole with mushrooms and vegetables. It is easy to make and perfect for these cold wintry days. My 14 year old daughter calls this meal "a taste of Christmas".
200g pack of Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts
1 pint water
1 organic stock cube
3 sliced carrots
2 sliced onions
2 cloves garlic crushed
8-12 oz assorted mushrooms (I used open cup and Portobello)
5 fl oz red wine
2 tblspns soy sauce
2 tblspns plain flour
ground black pepper
I've attempted to make a video demonstrating the method, but I warn you I'm no Nigella!!